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Posts Tagged ‘features’

PocketBible for Mac OS X is Now Available

Posted on: August 22nd, 2014 by Craig Rairdin 6 Comments

Screen Shot 2014-08-22 at 6.56.40 PMWe’re pleased to announce that version 1.0 of PocketBible for Mac OS X is now available for download at the Laridian website! You can find out more about PocketBible and hundreds of Bibles and reference books available now for Mac here.

Easier Searching

The Mac version of PocketBible implements an improved search algorithm we first introduced in PocketBible for Android a few weeks ago. Rather than asking you to learn the language of Boolean algebra and regular expressions in order to be able to formulate a search specification, PocketBible allows you to simply tell it what you’re looking for, like ”faith comes by hearing”. PocketBible performs about a dozen parallel searches to find not only every verse in which the phrase you’re searching for occurs, but also verses in which words that sound like or have the same root word as the words you’re looking for appear in the same order or close to the same order as you entered them. The result is that PocketBible for Mac OS X is more likely to find the verse you’re looking for than were previous versions. So a search for “faith comes by hearing” finds Romans 10:7 in the KJV even though in that verse, “comes” is “cometh”.

PocketBible for Mac also takes advantages of capabilities of our electronic books that we have never exposed before. For example, you can search a commentary not just for its discussion of a passage, but for everywhere the passage is mentioned.

Download Free

PocketBible for Mac requires OS X 10.7 and is available as a free download. Installation is easy: open the downloaded disk image and drag the PocketBible icon to the Applications folder (just like any number of Mac apps you download from the Web). PocketBible will prompt you to create an account or log into your existing account to gain access to dozens of free Bibles and reference books, or in the case that you are already a Laridian Bible software user on another platform, access to Bibles and books you’ve previously purchased for use in that program. Once you’ve entered your login credentials, you download books directly from the “Cloud Library” feature of the program as opposed to downloading an installation program from our website. Watch instructions below:

Sync your Personal Data

If you have notes, highlights, bookmarks, or devotional reading progress in another version of PocketBible that you have sync’ed to the Laridian Cloud server, you can turn on automatic synchronization in PocketBible for Mac and have access to all your user-created data on that platform as well.

Customize the Screen Layout

PocketBible allows you to customize the screen layout, arranging books into any number of tiled panes. You can open any number of books in each pane. Panes can be resized, and books can be moved from one pane to another by simply dragging the tab corresponding to the book into the tab bar of the target pane.

There’s More to Come!

As good as PocketBible is, we’re not done with it yet! We’ll be implementing a number of advanced features that will be available for a nominal price. These include multiple tabbed layouts, the ability to rename your highlight colors, journal notes (notes that are not connected to a Bible verse), and an expanded Autostudy feature you may have seen in PocketBible for iOS. We’ll have more to say about the Advanced Feature Set in upcoming weeks.

In the meantime, the best way to find out how PocketBible for Mac OS X can enhance your Bible study is to download it today!

What’s in the Pipeline?

Posted on: August 16th, 2014 by Michelle Stramel 117 Comments

We often get asked about what we are working on. While you can be sure we are always working, and that our work probably involves some version of PocketBible, we understand you may be interested in a more detailed explanation of what is going on behind the scenes. It is in that spirit that we are going to try something new with an occasional post on what’s in the pipeline for apps and books.

You’ll notice we don’t talk about release dates. We’ve been in this business for a long time and have learned that our best-laid plans often go awry. In fact, in the software business, that’s the rule rather than the exception. So we don’t spit into that wind nor tilt at those windmills. We’re pursuing the goals you see below at our best pace and will release new books and updates to our apps as soon as they’re ready.

Apps

  • PocketBible for Android – Version 1.2.1 was released on 8/5/14 with enhancements to the search feature. Next up is adding devotional tracking features. Follow us on Google+ for the most up to date info.
  • PocketBible 3.1 for iOS – version 3.1.0 was uploaded to the App Store on 3/28/14. Next major update will probably coincide with whatever Apple breaks in iOS 8. We also want to look at features we’ve added to PocketBible for Mac OS X and see what could be ported to iOS.
  • PocketBible for Mac OS X – Version 1.0 is ready for you to download. We’re now working on what will become the Advanced Feature Set for the Mac version.
  • PocketBible for Windows Phone – Send us your suggestions for enhancements.
  • PocketBible for Windows Store – Version 2.2.0.318 was released to the Windows Store late in 2013. This update supports Windows 8.1 and adds new advanced features including the ability to listen to any type book and add notes directly from the notes pane.

Books

Here’s what our editorial team has in the queue for you (not in any particular order):

  • Additional volumes of the Cornerstone Commentaries (Tyndale) – released 8/6/14
  • Additional volumes of the Ancient Christian Commentary Series (IVP)
  • The Applied New Testament and Old Testament Commentarys (Cook)
  • Wesley Study Bible (Abingdon)

Disclaimers: All this is subject to change in priority, feasibility, copyright licensing, etc. That means we reserve the right to never release these features or books. We are sharing with you the current plan which is written in sand, not stone. Also, just because something is not on this list doesn’t mean we are not considering it. Finally, we are open to your requests, suggestions and comments!

PocketBible for Android v1.2.0

Posted on: June 10th, 2014 by Michelle Stramel 13 Comments

PocketBible for Android version 1.2.0 has been released to the Google Play Store. If you downloaded the app from Google Play, you should be automatically updated. If you are using a Kindle Fire (or other non-Google Play device), you can download the latest version by browsing to http://lpb.cc/android while on your device.

The major new feature in this version is the ability to add notes to Bible verses. If you have previously taken notes with other versions of PocketBible, these can now be synchronized to your Android OS device. Your data must first be synced from the other devices to the Laridian Cloud. Version 1.2.0 also includes a fix for an SD card storage issue which popped up in the latest version of Android (4.4+ – kitkat).

You can see the new note-taking feature in action here:

Starting your Bible Reading Plan or Devotional Over for a New Year

Posted on: December 17th, 2013 by Michelle Stramel 2 Comments

2014 is around the corner and with it the opportunity for a fresh start on Bible reading efforts! Whether you are on track to make it all the way through from January 1 to December 31 or you got side-tracked at some point during the year, PocketBible makes it easy to begin anew.

Here are instructions for resetting your Bible reading or devotional tracking for the various versions of PocketBible:

  • PocketBible for iPad/iPhone/iPod touch – open PocketBible and go to the Bible reading plan you want to reset. Select the Today button | Devotional Settings and choose to reset your reading progress and change the start date to today’s date.
  • PocketBible for Android OS – this version of PocketBible does not have daily progress tracking yet so there is nothing to reset. This feature is next on our to-do list after note-taking. In the meantime, the app does include a simple date function that is based on a calendar year (January 1 through December 31). So at the beginning of 2014, any 365 day plans or devotionals you are using will automatically “start over” on day 1.
  • PocketBible for Windows Phone – select Menu | Daily Readings and tap and hold on the devotional book. From the menu select Remove daily reading. You can then go back and restart.
  • PocketBible for Windows Store (8/8.1) – select Daily readings from the application bar and select the devotional book. From the application bar select Remove Daily Reading. You can then go back and restart.
  • PocketBible for Windows PC – choose Devotional Reading | Book Options from the menu and select the Start Over tab. Press the Start Over button. Choose the Start Date tab to set a new start date.
  • PocketBible for Windows Mobile – Are you one of our few customers still using this older type of mobile device? You can find complete instructions here.
  • DailyReader for Palm OS – Are one of our few customers still using this older type of mobile device? You can find complete instructions here.

If you are looking for a different Bible reading plan this year, you’ll find help choosing one in our article on 8 Ways to Read through the Bible with PocketBible.

Serendipitous Programming

Posted on: July 27th, 2013 by Craig Rairdin 6 Comments

Today I’ve been working on a new feature for PocketBible for iOS and one thing led to another, and, well, I ended up implementing a feature I didn’t know I was working on, and didn’t realize how much of it was already sitting there, waiting to be exposed to the user.

So the new feature I thought I was working on is the ability to “rename” your highlight colors. That is, you’ll be able to assign a topic to each color. Then when you highlight a verse, instead of seeing a list containing “Khaki”, “Cornflower Blue” and “Hot Pink”, you’ll see “Salvation”, “God’s Love” and “Prophecy”. We’ve been wanting to implement this for a long time. While we were upgrading our cloud synchronization protocol over the last few months, I added the ability to sync highlight color names with the server and we took advantage of that in PocketBible for Windows Phone and Windows Store. The plan has always been to roll that into other platforms as we have the opportunity.

While looking through the code that shows you your list of highlight colors (which I’ll have to modify to show you your user-defined names for those colors) I stumbled into a bit of code that Jeff wrote years ago but then “commented out”. (If we have code that we’d like to retain for reference purposes but don’t want to actually have the computer execute, we turn the code into a “comment” so it will be ignored by the compiler but still be there if we want to see it.)

Those of you who have been with us for a while know that Jeff was my programming partner for 27 years before his death from cancer in May 2012. It’s been a bittersweet year as I’ve had to deal with his passing while surrounded and immersed every day in code that he wrote. I keep running into little things that remind me of him, make me want to give him a call to talk about a problem, or give me a chuckle. So it’s always interesting when I run into a piece of code like this.

What this particular piece of code did was add three additional highlighting styles to the list of colors you can highlight with. These are “underline”, “strikeout”, and “underline+strikeout”. Those look like this, this, and this, respectively.

Now, why would you ever want to strike out a verse? That’s a good question and takes me back fifteen years to the days of the Palm operating system when cameras were cameras, phones were phones, and “portable digital assistants” were all the rage. In those days, color displays were luxuries that cost money, size, weight, and battery life. So most of those devices had monochromatic screens.

On color screens, we could highlight a verse with a background color. But what could we do on these black and white screens? Since our text was coded in HTML, and since HTML offered simple styles like bold, italics, underline, and strikeout, we decided to use those. We ended up not using bold and italics because they could cause the text to re-wrap when they were applied, and in those days of wimpy processors, it just took too long and was disturbing to see. That left us with underline and strikeout, so that’s what we used.

As time has gone on, we’ve gotten to where we don’t even include these underline and strikeout highlighting styles in our programs. They’re not in PocketBible for iOS, and we weren’t planning on implementing them in PocketBible for Android. Unfortunately, some of you who were around back then and have sync’ed your highlights from your Palm PDA to PocketBible for Windows to our server and to PocketBible for iPhone expect to see those underlines. So we have to at least be able to display them if they exist, but we don’t let you create them (because we don’t want to proliferate a bad idea).

What I discovered today was Jeff’s original code for being able to create underline, strikeout, and underline+strikeout highlights in PocketBible for iOS. His comment said he had taken them out because the display engine (my code) didn’t support them. Sometime between then and now I implemented those highlight styles but we just never went back into Jeff’s code and turned those choices on.

On a whim, I enabled those lines of code and what do you know — they worked! That put me in the awkward position of trying to decide whether or not to leave them in. I never liked the idea of striking verses from the Bible, and even once you get over that, it makes the text hard to read.

About then it was time for dinner and I set the laptop aside to meet my wife and get something to eat. On the way there it occurred to me that we now have some better styling options that we had back in 1998. New versions of HTML with CSS support dotted and dashed underlines.

When I got home I spent about 30 minutes and implemented the styles you see here. These new styles replace the old styles rather than adding to them. So where you had strikeouts, you’ll have dotted underlines. And where you had strikeout+underline, you’ll have dashed underlines. I think this is a nice way of making your legacy data from your Palm days more usable and it gives you three more highlighting styles to use in PocketBible for iOS. (If you’re having trouble making out the dots and dashes, click on the screen shot to see the original size image.)

One of the cool things about this is that the underlying data storage and cloud synchronization already supports it. We’re not changing the data we save, but rather the interpretation of the data. So nothing changes in any of the other platforms nor on the server.

What I think is special about this — even though it’s not a life-changing feature — is that Jeff left it behind and it only took a little extra work to make it useful. And I like that all the infrastructure both for storing the new highlight styles and displaying them was already there.

Tomorrow I’ll get back to work on naming your highlight colors. But this was a nice little one or two hour detour to give us an unexpected new feature in PocketBible.

PocketBible for Android 1.0.8 – Managing Open Books

Posted on: July 16th, 2013 by Michelle Stramel 18 Comments

PocketBible for Android version 1.0.8 has been released on Google Play. If you downloaded the app from Google Play, you will be automatically updated. If you are using a Kindle Fire (or other non-Google Play device), you can download the latest version by browsing to http://lpb.cc/android while on your device.

The new feature in 1.0.8 is the ability to manage open books. Tap on the title bar where the book name is displayed – you’ll see a drop down list of all books you have open in that window or pane. Tap on the X next to a book name to close the book. Or choose the option at the bottom of the list to Open a New Book in that pane.

You can use this feature in a variety of ways in PocketBible. I like to split the screen and keep multiple Bibles open in one pane and my other type books (i.e. commentary, reading plan, dictionary) open in another pane. I have PocketBible set to keep books that are organized by verse on the same verse (Menu | Settings | Program Settings | Bible Synchronization). Then as I move through the Bible, I can tap on my second window to consult commentary or look at other books while I keep my Bibles open in the top pane. I can also easily compare variations of the same verse in the top pane by tapping on the title bar to move quickly to a different translation. Finally, I use the second pane to view my reading plan; then I can view the assigned passage in the top pane so I know where to start and stop.

If you are using PocketBible for iOS, Windows Phone or Windows Store – they all have similar capabilities.

PocketBible for Android 1.0.6

Posted on: July 2nd, 2013 by Michelle Stramel 47 Comments

PocketBible for Android version 1.0.6 has been released on Google Play. If you downloaded the app from Google Play, you will be automatically updated. If you are using a Kindle Fire (or other non-Google Play device), you can download the latest version by browsing to http://lpb.cc/android while on your device.

The major new feature in 1.0.6 is the ability to highlight Bible verses. It is easy to do – just tap on a verse and PocketBible will temporarily underline the verse. Choose the pencil icon from the menu to select a color and you’re done!

Along with the highlighting, PocketBible will now sync your highlights with the Laridian Cloud. So if you have highlighted verses in other versions of PocketBible, those will be transferred over to the app as well. In conjunction with this, you’ll find a new setting option on the menu for Sync Settings where you can specify how and how often your data is being synced.

While we were at it we threw in some other popular requests like the ability to view Bible verses one line at a time, set the screen in PocketBible to not time out and the ability to hide the status bar. You’ll find these new options in the Setting menus.

Updated: PocketBible for Windows Store

Posted on: June 1st, 2013 by Michelle Stramel No Comments

Windows 8 users, an update to PocketBible is now available on the Windows Store.

Enhancements to this Version 2.1 include:

  • Automatically update the application’s tile with the current book and position
  • Save and re-use multiple layouts, enabling you to save the layout (panes and books) exactly as it was and come back to it
  • New 3-pane layout option for convenient arranging of your books
  • Go to a bible verse by typing it into the verse table of contents flyout
  • Make multiple selections in the device library
  • Open one or more books directly from the device or cloud library application bar
  • Book selection context menu now displays the book titles sorted

Download PocketBible for Windows Store for free!

NOTE: Some of the features mentioned above may require the purchase of the Advanced Feature Set.

8 Ways to Read through the Bible with PocketBible

Posted on: December 11th, 2012 by Michelle Stramel 14 Comments

My philosophy on Bible reading plans is similar to exercise: find what works for you and do it. We offer a variety of Bible reading plans you can use in PocketBible to get you in the Scriptures on a daily basis. And for those times when life interferes, PocketBible has easy-to-use tools to help you catch up, start over and keep going.

Which PocketBible Bible reading plan is best for you?

  1. M’Cheyne’s One Year Bible Reading Plan (free) was originally designed by the 19th century Scottish minister, Rev. Robert Murray M’Cheyne to encourage his congregation to read their Bibles. Each day offers two Family readings to be read during family devotions and two Secret readings to be read during personal devotions. At the end of 365 days, you’ll have gone through the New Testament and the Psalms twice and the rest of the Bible once. Since M’Cheyne recommends reading or singing through the Metrical Psalms at least once a year, we have published Scottish Metrical Psalms with Notes by John Brown for use with the reading plan (sold separately for $1.99).
  2. Professor Grant Horner’s Bible Reading System (free) is a unique Bible reading plan. Each day you will read one chapter from each of ten lists for a total of ten chapters per day from the Bible. Since the lists vary in length, the readings begin interweaving in constantly changing ways. You will NEVER read the same set of ten chapters together again and you will experience the Bible commenting on itself in constantly changing ways.
  3. Laridian Reading Plans (free) is a collection of 7 Bible reading plans. We often get requests for a plan that includes a selection from the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs for each day. That type of plan is included in this set.
  4. The One Year Chronological Bible Reading Plan ($7.99) provides a reading plan for the entire Bible–books, chapters, and even verses–arranged in the order the events actually happened.
  5. One Year Through The Bible Devotional ($9.99) guides you through the entire Bible in a year with commentary. Each day includes a Bible passage to read with a practical and helpful devotional written by one of the authors of the Life Application Study Bible.
  6. The Daily Walk Devotional ($9.99) is a publication of Walk thru the Bible Ministries. It too is a reading plan plus devotional. Along with your assigned reading for the day you get a related overview, application and insight for the passage.
  7. One Year Bible Companion ($9.99) offers a daily reading assignment with verses taken from the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs for each day. This plan offers variety in what you read plus key questions and answers to enhance your daily Bible reading.
  8. OT/NT in 3 Months (free) – tackle this 90 day Bible reading plan any time of the year. Each day offers a selection from the Old Testament and New Testament.

The Bible reading plans mentioned above simply list the verses you are to read each day. You can then link from the verses to any of your Bibles in PocketBible to read the assigned verses in a translation you like. The devotionals mentioned above offer similar verse links but add devotional comments to the verses you have been assigned to read for the day.

If you have a Bible reading plan but want to start over read our tips on Starting your Bible Reading Plan or Devotional Over for a New Year.

PocketBible 2.0.6 Available on the App Store

Posted on: October 31st, 2012 by Craig Rairdin 14 Comments

We’ve just been notified that our latest update to PocketBible (version 2.0.6) has been approved by Apple. It should become available in the App Store over the next 24 hours.

We apologize for the delay getting our iOS6-compatibility fixes into PocketBible. We ran into a couple of issues getting our update past the Apple approval process. In the end, being forced to address those issues caused us to find a couple tricky bugs that wouldn’t have turned up otherwise. But the whole process ended up taking longer than we wanted.

The complete list of new features and bug fixes is below, but a couple are worth highlighting. First, this version adds support for the Greek New Testament. You should find the SBL Greek New Testament in your list of downloadable books in “Add/Remove Books”. There are instructions in the built-in Help for enabling the Greek keyboard so that you can do searches in Greek.

Several bugs introduced in iOS 6 have been circumvented. In particular, you may have noticed PocketBible would only read the first verse on the screen to you when you asked it to start reading. This has been fixed. And it’s not really a bug, but PocketBible will now take advantage of the full height of the screen on the iPhone 5. (This wouldn’t have been a problem except that Apple “lies” to our app when we request the size of the iPhone 5 screen, apparently to maintain compatibility with apps that aren’t as clever as PocketBible by making them think they’re running on an older device.)

I believe we’ve finally fixed the problem of books and voices disappearing when memory runs low. Apple changed the way they do this a couple of times over the last year or so and kept defeating our efforts to preserve our files. We think we have it figured out now.

Finally, PocketBible now requires at least iOS 5. The latest version of the development tools only produces ARMv7 binaries and there are no ARMv7 devices that don’t support iOS 5. We’d like to support older versions of the operating system, but we’re limited by what the development tools support.

 

What’s new in this version?

  • Support for the SBL Greek New Testament including display, searching and copy/paste.
  • Added “Find Selection” to the Selection menu. Rearranged the Selection and Context menus to put more frequently used items closer to the top.
  • iOS 6 compatiblity including:
    • Fixed a bug where PocketBible would stop after one verse when speaking the text
    • Addressed rotation issues
    • Added 4″ Retina launch image and support for the full height of the new iPhone 5 screen
  • Bug fixes including
    • Fixed a bug in certain books with images where they did not appear when “shrink to fit” was selected
    • Changed the way text is selected to address sluggishness on devices with Retina displays
    • Fixed a problem that manifested in ZIBBCNT and HBH where images in tables were not shown if “shrink images to fit” was selected.
    • Made sure the built-in KJV, Help, and Welcome documents plus downloaded voices all get marked as “do not back up to iCloud”.
    • Related to the above, downloaded books and voices were moved to a folder that should not be purged under low memory conditions.
  • Set the minimum iOS version supported to 5.0.

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